Around My Patch


Today I scanned another dozen colour slides from the Streets of London set. These were made in May 2004, by which time I was working as a therapeutic counsellor in Beauchamp Lodge Settlement in Little Venice’s Warwick Crescent.

Delamere Street W2 5.04

A turning off this small crescent was Blomfield Villas, the address of this building bearing the Delamere Street W2. Once quite grand, this row of houses was split into flats, some at least of which were owned by Westminster City Council. These ladies asked to be included in the shot.

Kilburn Park Road NW6 5.04

From 1974 to 1986 I was responsible for Westminster’s Area One Social Services Department. Here we have the end of Kilburn Park Road NW6 that forms a T junction with Shirland Road, running along the Northern side of my patch.

Third Avenue W10 5.04

Fourth Avenue W10 5.04Fifth Avenue W10 5.04Sixth Avenue/Ilbert St W10 5.04

The Queens Park Estate was a key focal point. Many of the lovely little Victorian houses that were built in the Avenues had been replaced by the prize-winning modern architecture that formed a mugger’s paradise, and that was, after my departure, to find itself being radically altered for the safety of the residents.

Ilbert Street W10 5.04

I never saw this building in Ilbert Street without its boarding up.

Bravington Road W9 5.04

My office was on Harrow Road. Several streets that had seen better days ran from that major road towards Queens Park tube station. Bravington Road is one. It was, however, the parallel Portnal Road that I used as my route one summer evening in the 1990s, when two young men, literally, jumped me with intention to mug. I told the story in ‘Mugging’. My assailants made their escape into the walkways of the above-mentioned prize-winning estate.

Victor Road NW10 5.04

From my counselling rooms I would walk, once a fortnight, along Harrow Road to Harlesden for lunch with Norman. Victor Road,

Trenmar Gardens NW10 5.04

Trenmar Gardens,

Scrubs Lane NW10 5.04

and Scrubs Lane were all turnings off this thoroughfare. There was apparently a great deal of money spent on the film ‘Troy’. I didn’t see it, but I understand it wasn’t a success.

Foubert's Place/ Great Marlborough St W1 5.04

Making up this dozen, is ‘Shakespeare’s Head’ at the corner of Foubert’s Place and Great Marlborough Street, W1. This, unfortunately, was not in my patch.

This evening, Elizabeth joined us for dinner at Dynasty in Brockenhurst. My choice was king prawn vindaloo and special fried rice. We shared an egg paratha and a cauliflower bahji; and all drank Kingfisher. The food was as excellent, and  the service as friendly and efficient as always.


  1. It seems to have been a bit “harrowing” (sorry, couldn’t help myself), at times, to traverse those areas. The mugging post is next on my agenda…but sorry to hear of it. This post triggers memories of my several years working with high risk youth at an inpatient treatment center. What an interesting time that was, also potentially dangerous due to the neighborhood yet mostly due to the young clients. Many were gang-affiliated or- affected, and had other criminal and behavioral issues other than addiction, as I am certain you would understand. (I may have to think about that for a post or two, myself…your posts can apparently inspire me to re-think topics, it seems!–thanks!) But thanks for a thought-provoking post, Derrick. You must have a far greater story to tell from those times, as well.

    1. Thank you, Cynthia. I’m proud of you for harrowing :). I’m pleased to offer a little inspiration. I do, of course, have many stories of my time in Social Work, but none I will allow myself to publish, because, even if I don’t name anyone, I must respect their anonymity and confidentiality. That, I’m sure, you will understand. I must let you know I just fished your comments out of the Spam folder.

      1. (What is going on with the Spam and how do I fix that, anyone know?…)

        Yes, of course there is the very serious concern with anonymity. Ther are a few ways to deal with this in memoir. Of course, so much of what we offer comes from our daily living in some manner–but this is another discussion for another place and time!)
        Glad to share my thoughts on your writings.

      1. You’re the third person that’s said that this morning. Don’t know what’s going on but thanks for letting me know.

  2. It was wise of you to walk the neighborhoods you served. It must have given you insights. I must say both mugging stories are pretty scary, though.

    1. Many thanks, Lisa. Actually, although it was frowned upon by some on high, even as a manager, I kept a few clients. I must let you know I just fished your comment out of the Spam

          1. My gravatar has disappeared and comments don’t appear on my site now, though I can get them through the tools. It’s odd…

          2. On the bottom right of the page when I log on I get a little box saying ‘Howdy, can we help?’. Click on it and someone then chats with you. Have you tried that?

  3. I like it when the ‘ghosts’ of old advertising signs are found, such as the Hovis one. Now to find out what that is. Cheers!

    1. Thanks, Yvonne. I like the ghosts, too. Hovis is bread, which is still around. It is so much an established part of our culture that I didn’t think to mention it.

  4. Your dinner at Dynasty made me smile. On my one very brief trip to England, I enjoyed the curries on the set menu a couple of times.

  5. Like most people oop north, I wouldn’t live in London if you paid me! It really looks a scary place. I must say though, I did think that the figure of Shakespeare, looking down, trying to make sense of it all, was very original. Is it still there?

  6. Nothing like old photos to jog the memories, eh? I read your ‘Mugging’ post too. I can’t believe you kept going back looking for them, but I suppose you probably could have made quite the defense had you not carried a bunch of books. I would have walked the long way around it! Your reference to Muhammad Ali startled me a little, since – as of Friday – that great man is gone. Such serendipitous timing…

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